News 279 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Use of fishmeal in ruminants discussed

A report by Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Struan Stevenson calls to lift the ban on feeding fishmeal and fish oil to ruminants. The report stresses that "there is no scientific evidence to support a total ban on fishmeal on the grounds that it may transmit BSE or other TSEs".

Fishmeal is rich in both essential amino acids in the form of protein, and in the long chain polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA (PUFAs) which provide health and welfare benefits to animals. Meat, milk and eggs from farm animals fed on fishmeal and oil are, in turn, foods that benefit human health states the report.

However, fishmeal has been included in the feed ban (for ruminants only) because the Commission perceives that it could be accidentally or deliberately adulterated with (banned) meat and bone meal.

Marine discards
Feeding the discards from marine fisheries to ruminants will both benefit the marine industry (Europe accounts for up to 1 million tonnes discards annually) and may be beneficial in ruminant diets. The report suggests that use of discards by the fishmeal and fish oil industry should be examined, given the swiftly expanding EU aquaculture sector.

Related folder:
Weblog - What to do with meat and bone meal?

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